Patrick Witt says he will seek the Republican nomination for state Insurance Commissioner rather than the open 10th Congressional District seat and will endorse Vernon Jones for the position.
Witt, an attorney and former Trump Administration official, joins Andrew Alvey as the latest to drop out of the race to succeed Jody Hice as congressman for the 19-county, northeast Georgia district that now includes much of Newton County.
State Rep. Timothy Barr of Watkinsville, former U.S. Rep. Paul Broun of Athens, businessman David Curry of Monticello, former DeKalb County CEO and governor candidate Vernon Jones, and retired Marine colonel Mitchell Swan of Good Hope had qualified for the Republican nomination, and pastor Phyllis Hatcher for the Democratic nomination, for the 10th Congressional District seat in the May 24 primary through Tuesday at noon. Deadline for qualifying is Friday, March 11, at noon.
Other Republicans who have declared their candidacies include trucking company owner Mike Collins of Jackson; Monroe businessman Marc McMain; retired police officer and former bank fraud examiner Charles Rupert of Monroe; and retired Air Force Col. Alan Sims of Winder.
Other Democrats have announced they are running for the seat including community activist Jessica Fore; and 2018 and 2022 nominee Tabitha Johnson-Green.
Alvey, a nonprofit group program director and community activist, announced recently he was suspending his campaign. The 25-year-old was the youngest candidate in the race and endorsed Swan in the GOP primary.
Barrow County businessman Matt Richards previously had withdrawn from the race and endorsed Collins, who was a 2014 candidate for the seat.
The seat came open after Hice chose to run for Secretary of State rather than seek re-election.
Witt said in a statement, "As a member of the Trump administration, I saw firsthand the inefficiency and incompetence of many of our largest bureaucracies. That experience demonstrated to me the powerful impact that these agencies have on our lives and the need to have strong conservatives fighting for us at every level of government. Georgians deserve better, which is why, today, I am announcing my candidacy to serve as Georgia’s next Insurance Commissioner.
“During a time of record inflation caused by the failed policies of Joe Biden, we need someone who will show up to work every day fighting to lower premiums and put the needs of Georgians first. As Insurance Commissioner, I will bring professionalism and integrity to the office, get rid of regulations that prevent insurance jobs from coming to our state, and see to it that every person who works in the agency never forgets that our duty is to protect our fellow Georgians."
Witt said he managed a 2,500-person federal agency responsible for administering employee benefits programs for over 2 million federal workers and their families.
"As part of my responsibilities, I negotiated insurance rates for the world’s largest employer-sponsored health benefits program, covering almost 9 million people. Georgians can count on me to put my experience to work for them," Witt said.